My most common routine of climbing up via the center trail has been pretty good to me. It's a challenging climb, and I'm feeling the benefits from doing it so often. Spending so much time on the trails is helping, too. I can navigate them more quickly, using momentum from downhill spots to launch me partway up the next slope. The way trails are built into the terrain also influences how I carry myself along them; it's better for a trail to zig-zag up a steep hill, and by turning my feet out a bit, I can climb a steeper trail without overextending my foot.
I knew I'd probably end up heading down one of my least favorite spots to head down, but it was worth it.
4.31 miles in 1:43, 9,271 steps, 457ft gain
The woods in the morning are so magical, I don't know why more people aren't out enjoying them.
The area down below the ballfields (A) is pretty neat. I think I've gone that way from the South, but approaching from the West, the view was pretty great. There's enough of a clearing and enough of a drop that you can see across the gulch to the other side with the morning sun behind you.
That drop is where I found myself stuck off the trail that one time. It's pretty from above but pretty inhospitable if you end up there.
I normally don't like turning back and going the way I came, but I decided to do that a few times today so I could see more of the trails. That was a good choice because I found another way onto the trails, point B. A little bit after that, something I've worried about finally happened. I turned the corner on a trail, and just then someone right above me where I was just before said hi. He was on a mountain bike, and there was enough room for me to quickly step aside. We exchanged good mornings, and he said it was him and two more bikes behind him, plus a dog. I said thanks, and that I had no idea how they do it. He shrugged it off and said it was a lot of fun.
The dog was pretty far behind them and he ran past me like I wasn't even there. A nice change of pace from all the dogs who have jumped at me while their runner owners barely paid attention.
And speaking of dogs, the dog park was hopping when I got back to the car. There's usually maybe one or two cars when I get back, but today there were seven or so. It was so odd that I got distracted and almost forgot to turn off the walking app when I got back to the car.
I suppose my next step is to do a big loop around the gulch instead of starting in the center. I think it's doable if I go counterclockwise. Maybe Sunday.